Basic Cycling Gear from a Nerd's Viewpoint

Should I buy a bike? I took this photo in London, September 2015.

Should I buy a bike? I took this photo in London, September 2015.

I’m being bullied at the office by a group of triathletes. They have forced me to sign up for Strava and begin recording my training sessions at the gym and my occasional trail runs. But they want more. They say I must join their team and start training for an ironman 70.3 to begin with (to begin with?).

So I went online and watched my fair share of Ironman Kona videos. I was very inspired watching Rinny Carfrae zip the marathon and Turia Pitt cross the finish line… watching from my newly purchased L-shaped sofa.

Alright, let’s do it! 

Artists vs. Nerds

As in many activities in life, we can approach it either as an artist, or as a nerd. The artist focuses on the essence and the craft, while the nerd is attracted to gear, gadgets, and backlit screens that show lots of numbers. We saw it in Rocky IV: Ivan Drago was the nerd, Rocky the artist (see their divergent training styles here). We see it in photography: the artist is thinking of beauty and composition, the nerd is thinking that the camera she has in her hands is falling short in the megapixel, chromatic aberration, and noise departments.

Nerds vastly outnumber artists. Nerds keep gadget companies alive and profitable. Artists move the craft forward. We need both, but also, every nerd should aspire to be an artist.

I’m a Nerd. Yes, I admit it. But one day, I will be an artist.

“Basic” cycling gear

I haven’t owned a bike since mine was stolen in 1986 in the streets of Lince, Peru, so I did some cursory research online and also asked my triathlon friends. Two things: 1) the result is this “basic” list that exudes nerdishness from every angle we see it, and 2) I realized how dissuasively expensive this sport is.

Without further preamble, here is my “basic” list. It has a low and high price, based on how much I am willing to pay for each item.

Click on image to expand

Sticker shock! The bike cost represents less than 50% of the total investment! Should I do it? What would Rocky do?